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Watching TV 'not helpful' for babies

Research has found that watching TV is bad for babies.
Watching television, including educational DVDs specifically aimed at babies, does not help their development.

In fact, the research from the Seattle Children's Research Institute and the University of Washington, found that watching TV can actually slow communication and lead to hyperactivity in later life.

Parents have been advised to limit the amount of TV their children watch under the age of two.

The research found that as many as nine in ten babies under the age of two watch TV regularly, while some spend as much as 40 per cent of their waking hours in front of the TV.

A number of parents believe that so-called educational DVDs, such as Baby Einstein and Brainy Baby, will boost their babies' IQs, but the professor said that there is no scientific evidence that they are effective.

Instead, he said that it is much better for babies to receive mental stimulation from interacting and playing with others.

Professor Dimitri Christakis, the review's author, said: "The weight of existing evidence suggests the potential for harm and I believe that parents should exercise due caution in exposing infants to excessive media.

"We believe TV exposes children to flashing lights, scene changes, quick edits and auditory cuts which may be over stimulating to developing brains, while TV also replaces other more important and appropriate activities like playing or interacting with parents."

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